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Renseignements en Français

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Federal Funding for Early Learning and Child Care

Infographic: Investing in the Early Years

On March 16, 2018, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announced a three-year bilateral agreement to help ensure that Saskatchewan children get the best start in life. The agreement allocates just over $41 million, over three years, to Saskatchewan for early learning and child care investments.

The full agreement has been made available by the Government of Canada.

As committed to under the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, Saskatchewan will annually report the results and expenditures of the early learning and child care programs and services developed through the agreement. View the 2017-18 Report.

The funding will support the creation of:

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1. New Licensed Child Care Spaces

Creation of 1,295 New Child Care Centre Spaces

Saskatchewan has partnered with federal early learning and child care priorities to create 1,295 new child care centre spaces for children under six. These spaces will be located in 14 different communities across the province.

There were 75 new child care centre spaces added for Francophone children over the past year. The province has focused on allocating spaces to an organization(s) that will respond to the child care needs of Francophone families and children.

Allocation of spaces support holistic child development. Communities with a high need for child care and organizations emphasizing child care services for families and children experiencing vulnerability were prioritized. The intention of the organization to offer flexible child care arrangements or support Indigenous or new Canadian families was an additional consideration.

Additional information on developing child care centres may be found on the Start a Licensed Child Care Centre page.

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2. Licensed Family Child Care Home Spaces

The Government of Saskatchewan is supporting the increase of licensed family child care homes by 1,500 spaces by 2020. This will not only increase availability of child care for families across the province, but create employment opportunities for those interested in caring for children within their homes.

Learn more about becoming a licensed family child care home provider.

Apply to become a licensed family child care provider.

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3. Family Resource Centres

Saskatchewan has partnered with the federal government to create seven new family resource centres in seven communities – The Battlefords, Meadow Lake, Moose Jaw, Nipawin, Prince Albert, Saskatoon and La Ronge.

These will be developed through community partnerships led by KidsFirst, who will be responsible for finding physical space in each of the communities, hiring staff and developing programming for a planned opening in Fall 2019.

The centres will offer expert advice on a variety of topics from how to connect with your children, to how to stimulate your child’s development. There will be interactive activities for babies and toddlers, and support groups where young parents can share their experiences with others and seek advice.

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4. Early Learning Intensive Support Pilots

Saskatchewan has supported inclusive early learning and child care opportunities for young children requiring intensive supports by creating Early Learning Intensive Support (ELIS) Pilots. The pilots build on the strength of existing Prekindergarten programs by expanding access for children who require a significant level of support.

In April 2018, programs were developed with the four school divisions in Regina and Saskatoon to hire additional staff and provide the supports needed to allow these children to benefit from the Prekindergarten early learning environment.

In March 2019, it was announced that the ELIS Pilots would be expanded to the communities of Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Swift Current and Yorkton. More information will be available once these programs are accepting applications.

More information is available in the Early Learning Intensive Support Pilot brochure.

You can apply through your local school division at one of the links below:

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5. Children Communicating, Connecting and in Community

Funding has been provided to create early learning opportunities for preschool aged children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

There is one program in Regina and one in Saskatoon (half-days) for three- and four-year-old children who are deaf or hard of hearing or connected to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

Read more about the Children Communicating, Connecting and in Community program.

You can apply directly to Regina Public Schools or Saskatchewan Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services.

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6. Literacy for Young Children

More than $2 million dollars has been invested in new resources to support language and literacy initiatives for children aged six and under across the province.

Funding for these initiatives is being provided through the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, and includes:

  • $560,000 in grant money for the purchase of children’s books by licensed child care facilities;
  • $120,000 to purchase multilingual children’s books for public libraries;
  • $400,000 to the Saskatchewan Literacy Network to provide free training sessions to parents, care-givers and educators on how to incorporate early literacy into both programming and home life;
  • $400,000 to KidsFirst for a series of family-friendly literacy programs for preschool-aged children in communities across Saskatchewan;
  • $500,000 in books and other resources for early learning programs and to supplement training and community events hosted by the Saskatchewan Literacy Network and KidsFirst; and
  • $75,000 to produce instructional videos showing educators and parents how they can incorporate early literacy in their programming and at home.

In recognition of Saskatchewan’s growing and diverse population, some of this funding has been specifically earmarked for the purchase of children’s books in languages other than English. These books are available via public libraries across the province.

Young families are also being given access to free events, where both children and their parents can learn new ways to develop literacy skills, in a fun, family-friendly environment.

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7. Training and Equipment Grants

Funding has been provided to enhance the quality of early learning and child care experiences for children in licensed child care by providing training for early learning and child care providers, and grants for Play and Exploration and Active Play. This investment enhances the capacity of the child care sector to provide rich, play-based early learning environments for children.

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